April 20, 1934 – October 11, 2020
Margaret Mary Edsall, always known as Peggy, died in her sleep at home on Sunday, October 11, 2020 in Manhattan at the age of 86. She is mourned by her children, Mary Agnes, Margaret Mary, John Francis, and Thomas More, and her adored grandchildren, John, Nicole, Christian, Matilda, Alba, Aida and Anna. Peggy was predeceased by her beloved and loving husband of 60 years, John Rupert, and her daughter, Anne Marie.
Born on April 20, 1934, to Margaret Stokes Tobin and George A. Tobin, Peggy was raised in New Haven, CT, Coral Gables, FL and, finally, Greenwich, CT. Her father George Tobin was President of the Tilo Roofing Company, a Tobin family business located in Stamford, CT.
After graduating from Greenwich Academy, Peggy attended Marymount College in Tarrytown, NY, receiving a degree in English. She went on to earn an M.L.S. at Columbia University’s School of Library Science. She had a long career as a lower school librarian, first at the Brearley School, then at the Convent of the Sacred Heart and, finally, at the Chapin School where she worked until her retirement. As her children, grandchildren, and former students know, she was an expert in selecting books that fostered love of reading in the young. In her retirement, she raised funds to renovate and stock a library for St. Joseph's School of Yorkville.
Peggy was a consummate New Yorker, taking advantage of the museums and independent movie theaters, as well as of the neighborhoods where she would buy ingredients for the international meals she and her husband John would serve. They were also intrepid international travelers, especially loving their trips to India and Mexico. A voracious reader, she read all the New York papers daily and enjoyed her weekly visits to The New York Society Library.
A life-long lover of the game of tennis dating from her teen-age years when she had lessons with Welby Van Horn, Peggy prided herself on having attended the US Open almost every year since its inception in Forest Hills, and she went to Wimbledon on a few occasions. It is an understatement that she had an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of professional tennis. She and her her husband John were also true Mets fans and ranked attending the final game of the 1986 world series as a high point of their lives.
Central to Peggy's life was the church that she attended starting in the mid-1950s, Saint Joseph's of Yorkville. Besides being a faithful parishioner, she once mounted an exhibit of the history of the parish and the neighborhood. She also volunteered in the library that she set up in the school. Weekly mass and chats with the pastor and other parishioners were a blessing to her, especially in recent years.
Due to Covid, no funeral or memorial service is immediately planned. The family will notify loved ones when a service can be scheduled. Donations may be made in her name to St. Joseph's School.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
October 15, 2020
I will remember most that wonderful full laugh.
I recall the summer of 1965 when I stayed with her and Uncle John when she was active in the mayoral campaign of John Lindsey. Her take on the oddities of NYC politics (which she wisely took not too seriously) was both insightful and funny which could also be also a pretty good description of her approach to much else.
She was the family historian whose invaluable guidance I followed in Ireland to track down key ancestral spots.
It was a great joy and privilege to know her, a great lady.
October 15, 2020
My condolences to the Edsalls. I always loved my Aunt Peggy. The last time I was with her, we talked for hours about books, about tennis and about baseball. My dad told me that after the Mets won the World Series in 1986, Peggy made a spectacle of herself at a victory celebration shouting, "I love you, Lenny Dykstra!" to the surprised 23 year old center fielder. I could not help admire the range of a woman who could talk about any famous book on the planet and still go wild about major league baseball and tennis bad boys like John McEnroe. I will miss her. I was really very sad to hear the news. I hope everyone is doing alright.